Selecting a Flute
Sometimes knowing the right flute for you is hard. These quick answers will make it easier to get a better idea of which flute type is right for you
First stop: see our Beginner flute line under "Shop - Native American Style Flutes - Beginner flutes". Keep in mind, if you plan on taking lessons or buying instruction books for the Native American Flute you will want to purchase a Native American Style Flute in Pentatonic Minor Tuning or "Native American" tuning. Aeolian and Arabian tuned flutes are not the standard NAF tuning, and are not compatible for lessons and instruction books on NAF's. The key of "A" is one of the most common keys to learn on, but if you have smaller hands and have no musical experience, a key of B (not Low B) or High C are perfect! If you already have some hand coordination, or other musical experience, you could try the key of G for a lower tone.
Keys between High D & A (High D, High C#, High C, B, B flat and A) are excellent for small-handed players and do not require a long reach of the fingers. Keep in mind, the smaller the flute, the higher the pitch. You can always try to lower toned flutes.. Refer to THIS VIDEO to measure for lower keyed flutes. Also, all flutes will have "SPECS" to reference before purchasing!
Although we suggest beginners to start with the higher keys, between high D and mid A, and to work your way into lower keys, some people can also learn fine on a G or even a low E. This depends more on hand coordination and finger dexterity than on your hand size. To see weather or not your hands will reach holes on a lower flute, refer to THIS VIDEO for tips.
This can be confusing. There are several terms for NAFs that mean the same thing. If you are new, and you are looking for a "5 hole native flute, a Native American style flute, a pentatonic minor flute, or a native American flute, these are different names for the same type of scale of flute. We call this NAF minor, which is a pentatonic minor scale with a minor 6th.
In our shop, if the flute specifies the scale (eg. Major, Aeolian, Arabian, Hijaz, Anasazi), then these are NOT the classic Native American flute tuning. These tunings are inspired from other world music scales and give a completely different sound. If the flute does not specify an alternate scale, but simply refers to a key (eg. A, G, E, F#) it is by default a NAF minor scale.
*We don't make 5 hole NAFs, but offer a leather strap upon request hat quickly turns a 6 hole flute into a 5 hole flute.
There are a variety of scales that you can choose from. The most popular scale that we use is called the NAF minor. This is the most common scale that is used in the Native American flute (NAF) community. Other specialty scales you can choose from are Arabian, North American Indigenous, Anasazi, Major and Aeolian.
*Click on the links to learn more about each scale.
A drone flute is a flute that has 2 or more separate chambers that create a "droning note" or combined sound where several notes on one chamber harmonize with the other melody side of the flute. They come in many styles keys and designs. They produce a captivating and meditative sound. Many think of these as "ceremonial flutes".
440 Hertz is the frequency at which most all concert instruments are tuned to. This is the most common tuning frequency. 432 Hertz is said to be the natural frequency of the earth, some call it the heartbeat of the planet. The notes will sound between 1/8 and 1/4 pitch lower in pitch from 440 or 8 cents lower, and is becoming more and more popular in the sound healing community. If you want to play with other instruments, such as piano, or other pre-tuned instruments, we highly recommend getting a 440 Hz flute.
It is important to know if your other instruments will be in A440 Hz; most "pre-tuned instruments" are. Keep in mind that NAF's are key specific, and you may need several keyed songs if you want to play in several keys. If you want to play specific songs, it is also important to know what scale that song is in, ie. G Major, G minor. A NAF in the key of G wont play with a G major song, because NAF's are typically in Pentatonic minor.
Made to Order Items
This can be confusing, let us clarify for you!
Look to the title of the item! It will say "Made to Order" at the end of the title. The product will also have a drop down menu after the description that says "Made to Order". If it doesn't have either of these things, or says "in stock" in the title than it is In Stock! You can also check the In Stock page under shop of In Stock specific items.
We do our best to make as similar of an instrument as pictured and described. We use the same wood type, key and design. However, the color, grain and texture of the woods we use will vary with its own unique personality as it will be from a new batch of woods. If you do not have access to the same woods we will contact you to discuss an alternative.
Please allow us 60-120 days to make your flute. Some of our lines of flutes such as the beginner series and concert flutes can be made in 30-60 days. This is subject to change as there is high demand for our flutes, and we need to take our time to create the custom pieces.
We may sometimes take only a limited amount of custom orders and made-to-order items per month depending on volume of orders and waitlist length. We will notify you if your order will take longer than 90 days for completion.
There are ways to customize a made to order item. When purchasing the item there will be different options for you to customize your made to order item where you can choose which key or hertz/frequency you'd like. You can also contact us with requests like adding an animal totem, or adding turquoise, or wood burn art. Please limit these additions/modifications to one or two. If there are more modifications you would like to make we suggest you head to our Custom Designs page and submit your customization idea there! Most times we can accommodate these few alterations, or we will give alternative suggestions to help you find the perfect flute for you. Prices will vary with add ons.
Shipping, Returns, & Exchanges
Our shipping details and policies on returns and exchanges.
Yes we do! We love to send our instruments throughout the world. Shipping prices typically are $50 USD to CANADA, and $65 worldwide. We use USPS priority mail International. Singing Tree Flutes is not responsible for added costs from customs or country taxes. We insure all of our flutes. See our detailed policy by scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page and clicking on "Processing & Shipping".
Use the return address on the box that the flute was sent to you, or the address on our website. We can reimburse your shipping cost upon request if there was a problem with your flute.
If your flute arrives with a damage, please do not try and repair it yourself! Email us right away with photos, so we can assess the damage and instruct you on how best to proceed. Packages are always insured and most times repairable. We can refund your shipping costs upon request if it needs to be sent back to us.
Exchanges are on a case-by-case basis and not available for custom orders. If you've purchased your flute in the past 30 days and want to exchange it, please email us at email@example.com to begin the process.
If you are unsatisfied with a product we hope you will reach out to us. We would prefer to exchange your instrument for another better option, but on a case-by-case basis we do accept returns for a refund. However, we ask that you please do your do diligence and research to find a flute that best fits you before purchasing (eg. if you are in love with a low tone, but are a beginner, please check the specs to be sure it fits our hands, and refer to you video to check measurements.) Hand Pans and accessories have to be returned in the exact shape that they were received, and packed safely in the same packaging within 30 days of receiving your instrument.
We specialize in personalized consultations to co-create your perfect flute. How does this work?
Great question! To get started on a custom order request, go to the "Custom Designs" page where there are more detailed descriptions on what our custom options are.
You should write to us in the contact form there with your custom design idea. You can build your idea from scratch or give us a reference to a product we have listed in our shop with your desired modifications and additions.
Once you submit your custom design proposal, we will contact you to let you know what we can do for you! Please note, all orders are paid in full upon final agreements. If we are currently not taking orders, still write to us! We can put you on a "wishlist" and contact you when something similar to what your looking for becomes available.
We appreciate your patience with this new method and can't wait to hear about your custom design dreams!
This depends on a variety of factors such as flute type, order volume and complexity of design. Once you submit your custom design idea and Miguel contacts you, he will give you a better sense of completion time. In general, please expect between 60-120 days for completion! This is subject to change on certain orders. We will do our best to get you the highest quality flute as quick as possible!
Our "wishlist" is the place where you can give us an idea for a design or special flute you may want even when we are not taking more custom orders. This way we hear your request and as we get that particular wood or flute blank in the workshop we can see your request and might be able to make something similar. Likewise we can contact you when our custom orders re-open if the design proposal is something we are able to make.
To get your idea on our "wishlist", simply go to the "Custom Designs" page and write your complete idea in the contact form! We will get in touch soon.
Want to know more about how to stay connected to us and our community?
Thats excellent! We have some learning resources for you including a detailed instruction book LINK HERE (this book is specifically for the NAF in Pentatonic Minor tuning, NOT for Arabian, Aeolian, Major scale etc.) We also have instructional videos for all the flutes we make. The best way to find these is to spend time on our YouTube channel LINK HERE and view our instructional videos in our "How to Play the Native American Flute" playlist.
We also can recommend our affiliate Jonny Lipford who offers online courses, personal lessons and workshops!
Every NAF in minor tuning has a full relative major scale, for example F minor plays G# major, A minor plays C major, E minor plays G major and so on. The easy answer is yes, but trying to play Aeolians and Arabians on the more common NAF is quite hard to achieve with half holing etc. and it is always recommended that for the most fluid and in tune transposing of songs, it is best to use the appropriate scale. Most all Native American flute performers have a large collection of different flutes to achieve different sounds and flavors.
The absolute best way to stay in the loop of our sales, coupon codes and giveaways is to sign up to our email list and subscribe to our Youtube channel.
Our email list will offer you discounts, coupon codes and event updates. When you subscribe and receive notifications from our youtube channel you will get updates our "One and Done" flutes that may never reach the website. These one of a kind and often elaborate pieces are first come first serve, and they go FAST! YouTube is the first place, and often only place, they'll show up!
There are lots of resources to find people on this NAF journey! There are flute festivals, online forums facebook groups. Here are a few that you can look into:
- Upcoming Flute Events in US (by FluteTree)
- Flute Discussion Forums (by Flute Portal)
- Roster of various flute groups, forums, events and social media outlets (by Fluteopedia)
More to come!
This can be a challenge at times. We all can find musical ruts, and get impatient or uninspired. Be diligent, but also be patient with yourself. Watch our YouTube videos, try to learn songs by ear, reach out to community groups, take a lesson or online course, listen to flute music, or take your flute on hikes or camping! Flutes always inspire under the stars, at the beach, or under a shady tree. Connect with our newsletter for more community opportunities. You've got this!